winter is coming (“Winter is coming”). This expression from the cult series Game Of Thrones has come up a lot lately in the foreign press, especially in the prestigious FinancialTimes, to talk about the looming energy crisis in Europe. Russia, the leading supplier of natural gas to the European Union (EU), has decided to drastically reduce its hydrocarbon exports to the Union, as part of the showdown with the West since the start of the war. in Ukraine.
While Russia provided 40% of EU gas imports last year, which represents 19% of the total consumption of its member countries, Moscow began to close the floodgates this summer. On August 31, the Russian giant Gazprom, for example, announced the complete suspension of its gas deliveries to the French company Engie.
In addition to geopolitical tensions, there are climatic causes: the scorching summer and the extreme drought observed in Europe have weakened the production of hydraulic and nuclear energy. In this context, European leaders are preparing to face a difficult winter, which they are trying to anticipate. The Twenty-Seven decided, at the end of July, to reduce their gas consumption by 15% compared to the average of the last five years, until the end of March 2023.
Despite emergency measures and calls for energy restraint, the international community is following the European situation with concern. Galloping inflation, increased precariousness, risk of social protest… From Peru to Australia, from India to Brazil, the international media are concerned about the possible consequences of the coming energy crisis.